Reduce churn with critical NPS surveys

NPS Detractors

NPS Detractors: Tackling Challenges to Boost Customer Satisfaction

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a widely-used metric to gauge customer satisfaction and loyalty. It is calculated by asking customers a simple question: “How likely are you to recommend our product or service to a friend or colleague?” The responses are collected on a scale of 0 to 10 and then divided into three categories: promoters, passives, and detractors.

Detractors are the customers who give a score of 0 to 6. These are the individuals who are unhappy with your product or service and are consequently less likely to make repeat purchases. Additionally, detractors might even discourage others from engaging with your business. Understanding the reasons behind their dissatisfaction and addressing their concerns effectively can help you improve your overall NPS and secure business growth.

Understanding NPS Detractors

Net Promoter Score Basics

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric developed by Fred Reichheld to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction. It’s based on a simple question: “How likely are you to recommend our product, service, or brand to a friend or colleague?” Customers answer this question on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being extremely likely and 0 being not at all likely. The Net Promoter System then categorizes customers into three groups based on their scores: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors.


Promoters are your brand’s most loyal supporters. They score between 9 and 10 on the NPS scale and are highly likely to recommend your product or service to others. These customers are not only likely to make repeat purchases, but they’ll also act as valuable advocates for your brand, helping to attract new customers and generate positive word-of-mouth.


Passives are customers who score between 7 and 8 on the NPS scale. They’re generally satisfied with your product or service but aren’t enthusiastic enough to actively promote it. While passives may not harm your brand, they could easily switch to a competitor if given a better option or if their needs change.


Detractors are those who score between 0 and 6 on the NPS scale. They’re unhappy customers who may not only avoid purchasing from your brand in the future but may also actively discourage others from doing business with you. As a result, it’s crucial to identify and address the issues detractors may have in order to turn them into promoters or at least mitigate their negative impact on your business.

Identifying and Analyzing Detractors

NPS Calculation and Survey

To identify and analyze NPS detractors, you first need to calculate your Net Promoter Score (NPS). This is done by running an NPS survey, which asks customers a single question: “How likely are you to recommend this product, company, or service to a friend or colleague?” Respondents rate their likelihood on a scale of 0-10, with 0 being least likely and 10 being most likely.

Customers are then classified into three groups based on their rating:

  • Detractors: score from 0 to 6, unhappy customers who might talk negatively about your brand.
  • Passives: score from 7 to 8, indifferent customers who are on the verge of becoming a Promoter or Detractor.
  • Promoters: score from 9 to 10, enthusiastic, loyal consumers who will convey your brand’s message and attract new leads.

To calculate your NPS, subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. The resulting number is your NPS, which can range from -100 (all Detractors) to 100 (all Promoters).

Demographics and Behavior

Analyzing the demographics and behavior of your Detractors can provide valuable insights to improve customer satisfaction and drive business growth. You might want to consider:

  1. Demographics: Collect information such as age, gender, location, and income level. This will help you better understand who your Detractors are and develop targeted strategies to address their concerns.
  2. Behavioral data: Analyze your customers’ interactions with your product, including frequency of use, purchase history, and support requests. Identify patterns and correlations that can help you pinpoint areas where customers might face issues or be unsatisfied.
  3. Feedback: Encourage Detractors to provide additional feedback on why they gave a low score. This can help you uncover specific pain points and improve your product or service.
  4. Competitor analysis: Compare your NPS and customer satisfaction levels with those of your competitors. Understanding where you rank among your competitors can help you set benchmarks and develop strategies to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

By thoroughly identifying and analyzing your Detractors, you can uncover opportunities to improve your product and customer experience, ultimately turning Detractors into Promoters and driving business growth.

Impacts of Detractors on Business

Churn and Revenue Consequences

NPS Detractors can have significant impacts on your business, particularly when it comes to churn and revenue consequences. Churn refers to the rate at which customers cease doing business with your company. In many industries, high churn rates can negatively impact your bottom line by reducing customer loyalty and sales.

As unhappy customers, detractors are more likely to discontinue using your products or services. This dissatisfaction can translate to lost revenue, as dissatisfied customers are unlikely to make repeat purchases or subscribe to long-term services. Moreover, addressing these issues requires resources, such as improved customer service, which can be costly.

To mitigate churn and revenue loss, pay attention to the feedback provided by your detractors. Identify trends in their criticism and develop targeted customer success strategies based on this data. By understanding the areas where you fall short, you can make improvements and show your detractors that you’re committed to their satisfaction. Consider conducting regular market research to stay informed about your industry’s standards and adjust your offerings accordingly.

Negative Word of Mouth

Another notable impact of NPS detractors is the spread of negative word of mouth, which can damage your brand reputation and deter potential customers. When dissatisfied customers share their negative experiences with friends and family, it can lead to a ripple effect that drives away potential new customers and clients.

To minimize the harm caused by negative word of mouth, prioritize excellent customer service and proactively address complaints. This can demonstrate your commitment to delivering a positive customer experience and show that you’re listening to your detractors’ concerns. Implementing a referral program may also help shift the narrative; by encouraging happy customers to advocate for your business, you can counterbalance the impact of detractors on your company’s reputation.

Remember: Details matter. Strive for consistency in delivering great customer experiences, even in small ways, to build trust and credibility. Lastly, don’t underestimate the value of transparency; by acknowledging your weaknesses and sharing the steps you’re taking to improve, you can foster a sense of understanding and goodwill among your detractors and other customers alike.

Engaging with Detractors

Addressing Concerns and Complaints

When dealing with NPS detractors, it’s crucial to address their concerns and complaints thoroughly. Make sure to:

  1. Listen actively: Give your detractors the space and time to express their dissatisfaction without interruption. Understand the root cause of their issue.
  2. Empathize: Put yourself in their shoes and show that you care about their experience. Acknowledge their feelings and validate their concerns.
  3. Respond promptly: Swiftly address the issue and provide a solution or a timeline for when it will be resolved. This demonstrates your commitment to their satisfaction.

Remember, addressing these concerns might turn a detractor into a promoter, as it shows that your company values their feedback and is willing to improve.

Communication Channels

To effectively engage with your detractors, it’s essential to use the right communication channels. Some channels you may consider using are:

  • Email: Reach out to the detractor directly, addressing their specific concerns, and offering solutions based on their feedback.
  • Phone call: A more personal touch for cases where the issue might need additional clarification or a more in-depth conversation.
  • Surveys or follow-ups: Regularly send surveys to customers, including detractors, to gather feedback and identify patterns that may act as red flags for your business.

Finding the most suitable communication channel is as important as addressing the concerns themselves. Tailor your approach to each detractor and use their preferred communication method to deliver a more positive experience.

By following these guidelines, you can confidently and effectively engage with NPS detractors, enriching your understanding of areas that may need improvement and positively influence your customer experience in the long-term.

Improving NPS and Reducing Detractors

Customer Happiness and Experience Strategies

To improve your NPS and reduce the impact of detractors, focusing on customer happiness and experience strategies will lead to an increase in your growth rate and a decrease in churning. Your main goal should be to turn detractors into promoters by understanding their pain points and making improvements in your product or service.

Gather customer feedback: Start by actively seeking customer feedback and making sure that you are genuinely listening to them. Keep track of the issues raised by detractors, prioritize them, and take steps to eliminate the problems or improve their experience.

Monitor key metrics: Track your performance using key metrics such as repurchase, growth rate, and customer happiness. By monitoring these metrics, you will be able to identify trends and areas that require improvement.

Learn from industry leaders: Study how successful companies, like Amazon, invest in customer experience. Implement similar strategies within your organization to replicate their success.

Long-Term Benefits

Investing in customer experience and happiness strategies will lead to numerous long-term benefits, including:

  • Reducing negative word of mouth: Satisfied customers are less likely to spread negative feedback. By addressing the concerns of detractors, you minimize the risk of negative word of mouth affecting your growth rate.
  • Increasing repurchase: When you meet or exceed customer expectations, they are more likely to make repeat purchases and become loyal promoters.
  • Attracting new consumers: Focusing on customer happiness and experience can help you differentiate from competitors, attracting new consumers who value quality experiences and services.

Remember that NPS is more than just a score. It’s a tool to understand your customers better and optimize their experience with your business. By implementing strategies to improve customer happiness and experience, you will see long-term benefits in reduced detractors and increased growth.

Measuring Success and Progress

As you work on improving your Net Promoter Score (NPS), measuring success and progress is essential to understand the impact of your efforts. In this process, it’s important to consider various factors, including sentiment, likelihood to purchase, and NPS calculations.

Firstly, pay attention to the sentiment within the feedback you receive from your detractors. This means analyzing the language used in their responses, noting the key issues they raise, and tracking improvements or deteriorations over time. You can use sentiment analysis tools to help with this task.

Next, evaluate the likelihood to purchase among your detractors, as they can provide valuable information about barriers in your customer journey. By addressing these issues and reducing their likelihood to churn, you’re effectively turning detractors into promoters. Keep track of the changes in your customer base and correlate them with NPS scores.

Perform regular NPS analysis to monitor the ratio of promoters, passives, and detractors in your customer pool. A good NPS analysis should help you identify patterns, such as seasonality or peaks, that influence your customers’ perception of your business. This will allow you to make more data-driven decisions and prioritize improvements accordingly.

Utilizing an NPS calculator is another crucial aspect in tracking your progress. An NPS calculator simplifies the calculation process and gives you real-time feedback about your NPS. To use an NPS calculator effectively, you need to categorize the responses you receive into promoters (score 9-10), passives (score 7-8), and detractors (score 0-6) based on a 0-10 scale.

Remember, measuring success and progress is an ongoing process, so you need to be consistent in your evaluation. This will ensure that you stay informed and can make changes in response to customer feedback that will ultimately lead to higher NPS scores and better customer experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I identify detractors in NPS calculations?

Detractors are identified as customers who give a company a rating between 0 and 6 in an NPS survey. These customers are considered less satisfied with the company’s services and are less likely to recommend the company to others.

What role do detractors play in the net promoter score?

Detractors play a critical role in calculating the Net Promoter Score (NPS). The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters (customers who rate the company 9 or 10). A high number of detractors can significantly decrease the overall NPS, indicating the company’s areas for improvement.

What is the difference between detractors and promoters?

Detractors are customers who rate a company between 0 and 6 on an NPS survey, while promoters are customers who rate the company 9 or 10. Promoters are generally more satisfied with the company and are more likely to recommend it to others. Detractors, on the other hand, indicate a lower level of satisfaction and can be potential sources of negative word-of-mouth.

How can I address detractors in a company?

To address detractors, you should first identify specific areas of dissatisfaction expressed by these customers. Then, work on improving those aspects, engage in open communication, and follow up promptly on any concerns. By actively addressing detachment issues and demonstrating your commitment to improvement, you can potentially convert detractors into promoters.

How does the NPS formula distinguish promoters, passives, and detractors?

The NPS formula divides respondents into three categories:

  • Promoters: customers who give a rating of 9 or 10, indicating high satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Passives: customers who give a rating of 7 or 8, reflecting neutral satisfaction and less likely to influence others’ opinions.
  • Detractors: customers who give a rating of 0 to 6, suggesting dissatisfaction and potential negative word-of-mouth.

The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.

Why are detractor ratings significant in NPS assessments?

Detractor ratings are significant because they reveal areas where a company can improve and indicate potential negative word-of-mouth. By addressing the issues highlighted by detractors, a company can enhance customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and potentially convert detractors into promoters, increasing the overall NPS.